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Hartselle’s Montrell Murphy (27)  breaks through the Brewer defense for a first down in the first half of the Tigers 55-19 win in Hartselle on Friday night
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Hartselle’s Montrell Murphy (27) breaks through the Brewer defense for a first down in the first half of the Tigers 55-19 win in Hartselle on Friday night

Hartselle starters have short night in Tigers’ second win

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

HARTSELLE — Hartselle High junior quarterback Luke Bole and senior running back Montrell Murphy were sent to the sidelines in the fourth quarter at J.P. Cain Stadium on Friday night.

Neither player was injured or in trouble — they just received the rest of the night off from Hartselle coach Bob Godsey.

In three quarters of play, Bole completed 9 of 14 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns, while Murphy collected 139 yards on 10 rushes and scored two touchdowns, as the Tigers beat Brewer 55-19 for a Class 5A, Region 8 victory.

For Hartselle (2-4, 2-2 in Region 8), it was an uplifting experience and a much-needed win as the Tigers face area foes Athens and J.O. Johnson in the next two weeks.

“This is going to help build up a lot of confidence for our team,” Murphy said. “We needed this win real bad. Really, it was a must win game for us. It was a region game and that makes it big to start with, but then you look at who we have to play next week and the week after that, and we needed this confidence going in to those games.

“I can tell you this team does not give up — we are still contenders for the playoffs. We want everybody to know that Hartselle is still a team to beat.”

Bole echoed his teammate.

“We’ve been working real hard trying to get our team together, and I think we did that tonight,” Bole said. “Right here tonight, this game, this win, it’s going to help us get ready for the rest of the season. We’ve had some tough losses, but it’s time now for us to bring it all together.”

Hartselle’s offensive unit rolled to 529 yards of total offense, 382 of which came on the ground.

Brewer (3-3, 1-3) collected 266 yards of offense with 134 coming from the passing game.

The Tigers jumped out to a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Murphy scored on a 46-yard run, then Bole threw a 36-yard scoring pass to Tony Weaver.

The Brewer defense accounted for the Patriots’ first touchdown. Roger Driskell intercepted a Hartselle pass two plays into the second period, running it back 74 yards into the end zone.

Bole quickly retaliated by hitting Weaver on a 20-yard touchdown pass before Murphy scored on a 10-yard run.

Marquez Jones raced past the Brewer defense late in the second quarter for a 43-yard touchdown run and a 34-7 halftime lead.

Murphy’s 3-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter ended his night. Weaver’s 2-point run into the end zone made it 49-7 going into the final period.

Hartselle’s final score came early in the fourth quarter as Nikko Stover ran for a 41-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 55-7 cushion.

Tyler Parker threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Pinkerton and a 5-yard scoring pass to James Graham to finish Brewer’s night on offense.

“I see our team getting better every week,” Godsey said. “We’ve had some tough losses, but our players have handled things well. It’s tough to go out and lose close games and then have to get back to work the next week in practice, but that’s what our team has done.

“This is a great group of kids we have, and I’m proud of what they have done. They know that everything is ahead of us with big games against Athens and Johnson. They also know what it’s like to play at Hartselle. You go out every week and work as hard as you can and then go out on Friday night and see what happens.

“Well, something good happened tonight and we need to keep it going that same direction.”

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